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Judging by the Cover – 12/09/20 new releases

Comic Books

Judging by the Cover – 12/09/20 new releases

Chris shares his favorite covers from this week’s new comics.

Most comic book fans have a pretty good idea what they’re going to buy every week when they visit their local comic shop. With that said, there’s still a lot of fun to be had just glancing at the week’s new releases and taking a chance on a book that looks promising. That’s where covers come in. A fantastic image can make the difference between trying something new or saying, “Nah, not this week.”

In that spirit, here are the covers that captured our attention this week, with entries from comics editor Chris Coplan.

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Marauders #16

Cover by Russell Dauterman

Judging by the Cover

If you’ve been keeping up with Marauders thus far, you know big things have been simmering for some time. Without spoiling too much, Emma Frost (the White Queen) and Kitty/Kate Pryde (the Red Queen) have been beefing white Sebastian Shaw (the Black King) for most of the 15-issue run about his, um, unscrupulous tactics in operating the Hellfire Trading Company. Now, things reach a head in the absolute best way on the cover of #16, with Frost and Pryde going all Death Proof on Shaw’s pompous behind. Do I hope the issue is actually a much larger confrontation? Of course. But do I also hope it’s 20-ish pages of them beating up Shaw? God yes. Because the best comics should sometimes just be straight up wish fulfillment.

Tales From The Dark Multiverse: Flashpoint #1

Cover by David Marquez

Judging by the Cover – 12/09/20 new releases

I love the whole Tales… project because it’s a great chance to tell some context-free alternate histories of the DC Universe. After great stories with Ted Kord and Lois “The Eradicator” Lane, the next issue features a dark retelling of Flashpoint. And now the question begs, how do you make that story even darker (you know, what with the murder and promise of global genocide). So far, our only indication is that the Reverse-Flash will seemingly win, and who knows what kind of fresh horrors that might unleash. Maybe it’s not the best preview imaginable, but the idea of a laughing, jovial Reverse-Flash is somehow unsettling on a near-physical level. So long, happiness.

Crossover #2

Cover by Geoff Shaw

Judging by the Cover – 12/09/20 new releases

Generally speaking, the appeal of Crossover is that it’s both hugely complicated and also wildly approachable. As much as Donny Cates’ narrative could go off the rails in sheer metatextual exploration, his earnest approach and penchant for robust humanity has kept it properly centered (at least through issue #1). And in a great instance of synergy, artist Geoff Shaw has done the same with the artwork, including the cover to issue #2. Is this an exploration of this story’s deeply meta look at the (sometimes volatile) connection between reader and book? Sure sure. But is it also just a great image to stoke the proverbial fires of interest? For sure. Seriously, though, talk about a hot take, amirite?!

Piecemeal #1

Cover by Szymon Kudranski

Judging by the Cover – 12/09/20 new releases

Cullen Bunn and horror go together like hot wings and tater tots. (Trust me.) In his latest series, Bunn teams up with artist Szymon Kudranski for Piecemeal, about a group of soon-to-be departing friends entering some twisted haunted abode (properly titled the Nightmare House) for a terrifying journey into the unknown (that also features a random brain in a jar). The premise alone is charged with enough potential for Bunn to really let loose within the story proper. But Kudranski’s art, as previewed in the issue for #1, is also setting up some early scares. It’s got a kind of Stranger Things meets Lost Boys vibe, by way of some old Vincent Price horror flick. Whatever happens, it’s going to be scary — especially if that brain somehow has a mouth, too.

S.W.O.R.D. #1

Cover by Valerio Schiti

Judging by the Cover – 12/09/20 new releases

The first thing I thought upon viewing the cover to S.W.O.R.D. #1 was, “Wait, what kind of remake to Men in Black is this?” And I’m not way off, as the mutants of Krakoa have relaunched the titular organization (that’s the Sentient World Observation & Response Directorate) to police a whole new level extra-terrestrial threats. Add in the fact that it’s penned by Al Ewing (of similar space-centric book Guardians of the Galaxy), and we’re in for lightyears of fun (that’s the proper usage, right?) Between Cable with a giant sword (from space!), Abigail Brand rocking the sick Raybans, and the necessary introduction of a child (Wiz Kid) as semi-humorous foil, this series could be… out of this world. Sorry, had to be done.

American Vampire 1976 #3

Cover by Rafael Albuquerque

Judging by the Cover – 12/09/20 new releases

Much like my thoughts on the proper length of Batman’s ears, I have opinions on vampires. Namely, they have to have the right look to be effective. True Blood? Good, but too sexy. From Dusk till Dawn? Also good, but they’re missing more humanity to really complicate matters. Aside from the vamps on Buffy and Angel, the next best franchise to nail it is American Vampire. The 1976 series, specifically, has fine-tuned a properly scary and intimating vamp, as you can see on the cover to issue #3. Human visage + noticeably demonic modifications = a creature that both scares and delights, as all good vampires should. Imagine those claws as a backscratcher though, yeah?

Scarenthood #2

Cover by Nick Roche

Judging by the Cover – 12/09/20 new releases

If you missed out on issue #1, Scarenthood is basically like if Single Parents took place in the same universe as, say, The Exorcist or The Omen. The whole shtick is an exploration of fear and anxiety all parents experience (plus it has genuinely scary monsters and bits), and writer/artist Nick Roche did a bang up job with #1. With the cover for #2, though, he seems to have hit a new gear entirely. There’s something about the perfect cleanliness of that stroller, set in front of a creepy and angular forest of evil trees, that isn’t just scary but also physically uncomfortable. Sort of like if you were to watch how they made hot dogs, I imagine. Regardless, Roche brings top-tier horror, and this cover is the very best kind of preview for what actually waits inside.

Home Sick Pilots #1

Cover by Caspar Wijngaard

Judging by the Cover – 12/09/20 new releases

Writer Dan Watters and artist Caspar Wijingaard last joined forces on Limbo, a kind of detective story if it took place in some weirdo alt dimension. Now, they’ve reunited for Home Sick Pilots, which apparently follows a “haunted house [that] walks across California” and is inhabited by Ami, a missing teenage punk singer. No idea what that all really means from a narrative standpoint, but just peep Wijngaard’s first cover. Even as that story description circles around my head, I can’t help but feel a profound sense of peace in looking over his work. It’s utterly beautiful, and the whole thing permeates this kind of ethereal wonder. Am I bound to be poked and prodded by a deeply troubling narrative that will scramble my brain like so many eggs upon reading? You know it! But for now, there’s just a deeply moving cover.

Sam and his Talking Gun #1

Cover by Lee Ferguson

Judging by the Cover – 12/09/20 new releases

If I were going to call my book Sam and his Talking Gun, I’d make the cover feature an actual talking gun. Sort of like if ’90s Nathan Lane were a Desert Eagle, and he might have a nice bowtie wrapped around the end of the barrel. (And he’d be called something like Gunny or Mr. Gun.) But Drew and Lee Ferguson are clearly telling a much darker story, one pitting brother against brother in a blood-soaked revenge story. As such, the gun is an actual gun, albeit one that talks somehow. And if the cover is any clue, it could very well sound like Dirty Harry himself. Just so long as it makes at least one joke, it’s all going to be more than worth it in the end.

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